June 18th, 2024

Stolen cars, shopbreaking nets eight month sentence


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on January 26, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 29-year-old man who tried to impress his friends by breaking into a car dealership and stealing three vehicles, has been sentenced to eight and a half months in jail.
Kirby Judd Mills was sentenced Monday in Lethbridge provincial court, after pleading guilty to a charge of shopbreaking to commit theft.
“I’m remorseful for my actions, and I’m sorry,” Mills told the judge. “(I was) hanging out with some people; I guess I wanted to impress them.”
On Sept. 16, 2021 police responded to complaints of a break-in to the House of Cars on Mayor Magrath Drive South. During the course of that investigation, police received an unrelated complaint on Sept. 21 that several people were gathered in a parking lot further south on Mayor Magrath Drive and were checking out a black Cadillac Escalade.
Police ran a check on the licence plate and discovered it did not match the vehicle. The officer, who suspected the vehicle was stolen and involved in an unrelated police investigation, was concerned the driver would flee, so he called for backup. An officer approached the vehicle and told two people inside the vehicle, one of whom was Mills, they were under arrest for possession of stolen property. The officer also found the keys for the vehicle only a few feet away.
During that investigation, Mills confessed he broke into the House of Cars earlier in the month and stole a GMC truck, a Chevrolet Suburban, and a Dodge Challenger.
Mills also pleaded guilty Monday to charges of attempted shopbreaking and shoplifting, for which he was sentenced to six months in jail and 10 days in jail respectively. However, the sentences will run concurrently with the eight and a half months Mills received for the car dealership offences.
On Sept. 24 of last year there was an attempted break-in to DV8 Performance and Tires in the 2000 block of 2 Avenue North. Police responded to a report that although someone tried to break into the shop using a crowbar, the person was able to steal some money from a cash box.
Police were also advised that same night by the owner of an adjacent business that a man, later identified as Mills, was inside the fenced compound, and about the same time DV8 reported someone had again attempted to break into the business, but had fled to the adjacent business. Police arrived and shouted for Mills to stop fleeing or they would release a police dog.
“The person refused to stop…the dog then was deployed to assist with taking the person into custody,” Crown Prosecutor Adam Zelmer said.
The shoplifting charge relates to an incident on Aug. 23. Mills was caught stealing from Sport Check. Mills went into a fitting room and swapped the clothes he was wearing with other items of clothing, including a pair of athletic pants. The pants were recovered, as well as a backpack, but only one sneaker.
Mills had also pleaded guilty to one count of possession of stolen property – a Jeep Patriot – but when he disagreed with the facts of the case read in court, his guilty plea was struck and his matter adjourned to schedule a trial date.
Lethbridge lawyer Miranda Hlady pointed out Mills co-operated with police, which helped them recover property stolen during the offences.
Although sentenced to a total of eight and a half months in jail, Mills was credited for time he spent in remand custody, leaving him with only 72 days left to serve.

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